West Houston strip center goes up in flames

January 25, 2010 6:53:15 AM PST
Firefighters had their hands full overnight when a strip center in west Houston caught fire. Flames were first spotted a little after 11pm at the center off Highway 6 and Richmond. When units arrived, they found heavy fire coming from a fabric shop that had been vacated within the past six months.

Due to the volume of fire and the roof collapsing, the chief pulled a second alarm and ordered crews into a defensive position. The fire then started spreading to a three-story Goodwill store in the building next door.

Fighters say sprinklers saved the Goodwill store from burning to the ground.

"The fire did reach into the Goodwill store. It set off one sprinkler in the back loading dock area," said District Chief Richard Hollas with the Houston Fire Department. "We were real fortunate that it did stop the fire."

Firefighters did get the fire under control in about 30 minutes. No one was hurt. Other businesses nearby have some minor smoke damage.

Firefighters say the building and the doors were all locked when firefighters arrived. Arson investigators are on the scene trying to determine what started the blaze. For now, investigators say this fire appears to be an accident.